October modifications will be first in 30 years
In October of 2009, the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, more commonly known as WIC, will begin issuing new quantities and types of foods to participants. This will be the first substantial change for this program since it began more than 30 years ago. "Food types, choices, and amounts are being updated to meet the nutritional needs of participants," said Iowa Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) WIC Nutrition Consultant Jill Lange. "In addition, WIC has always provided breastfeeding education and support to mothers. The addition of new foods will complement these efforts by increasing and improving nutrition for breastfeeding mothers."
The new foods provided to infants are in accordance with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of an infant's life. At six months, solid foods may be introduced. WIC will provide not only infant cereal, but infant foods to these babies. Fully breastfeeding infants will receive infant fruits, vegetables and meats, while formula feeding infants will receive infant fruits and vegetables.
In accordance with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, WIC will now provide participants with fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. The amounts of milk, cheese and eggs have been reduced to be more consistent with the dietary guidelines recommendation of limiting consumption of saturated fats.
The WIC program was created by Congress in 1972 to provide healthy foods, nutrition education and referrals to health and social services for pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children. For more information, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/wic/agencies.asp.